Who Gets to Keep the Pet After a Divorce?

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If you have forged a strong bond with your pet, you should not have to worry about them getting ripped away from you just because you get a divorce. A Monmouth County divorce attorney from our firm can help you fight for pet custody and show that you have the best interests of your furry companion in mind.

Are Pets Part of the Property Distribution Process in a Divorce?

Usually, the custody of pets is decided when the rest of the property and assets from the marriage are divided up. This can seem strange since pets are way more than just property to most people. This is the process for now though, as the state of New Jersey does not have any divorce law specifically pertaining to the custody of pets.

You do still have a chance to show that you should be given custody of a pet though. You can make an argument for pet ownership as long as the pet was classified as marital property.

Is a Pet Considered Separate or Marital Property?

Since pets are considered property, this means that they can also be classified as separate or marital property. Separate property is something you owned before the marriage. So if one spouse adopted a dog before they were ever married, custody is pretty simple. The dog was theirs before the marriage and it is going to continue to be in their care afterward.

If a dog, cat, or another animal is adopted during a marriage, it is considered marital property. In situations like this, both spouses can make their own arguments for pet custody.

How Can I Improve My Chances of Getting Custody of a Pet?

The court will look at a few different factors when considering who should get a pet after a divorce. They can look at:

  • How much time each spouse spends with the pet
  • Each spouse’s housing situation
  • The finances of each spouse
  • Who has child custody
  • Who has enough room in their home for the animal

It can also help if you can show that you were the primary caregiver for a pet. If you have vet bills and other evidence that you pay most of the pet-related expenses, that can give your argument more weight.

Can a Divorce Lawyer Help?

A divorce lawyer can help you fight for the best possible outcome, and that includes a favorable pet custody arrangement. This area of law has received a lot of attention in recent years, and a lawyer can help you keep up with any changes that could affect your fight for custody.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you are fighting for the best possible outcome in your divorce proceedings, especially when it comes to pet custody, you are going to want some assistance. An experienced divorce attorney from our firm is ready to help you, so contact The Law Offices of George J. Mardinly and schedule your consultation today.